This is Part Two of my bullet-proof guide to attending events like a rockstar. Check out Part One for what to do before an event.
Let's recap. If you followed the steps from Part One of this article, then by the time you head out to your event, you should have the following:
- The most complete list in the universe of people and companies that are attending the same event. If it got enormously huge, you may want to consider creating another one for the people that you run into.
- A solid number of people who are excited to meet you, either because you're going to give something away, or because you're awesome. Both cases are good.
- A social listening dashboard that will let you hear everything and engage with everyone.
- Pre-scheduled updates to keep your team from stressing out.
Time for some real action!
During The Event
1. Get mobile.
You'll want to have a smartphone with a good camera and a** 3G Internet access. This will allow you to take pictures and videos fast and share them right-away. Also, **Wi-Fi is unreliable at most events. If you really can't get yourself a solid phone, bring a laptop, but don't blame me for your frustration.
Next, set up listening on your phone. This way you can see what's going on on the go. Try to keep the number of streams to the minimum to speed up the process and not get overwhelmed. Here are the must-haves:
- Hashtag of the event geolocated at the event's location.
- Your massive list.
- Mentions and DMs.
Your default stream should be the one with the hashtag. This way every time you hit "Compose" while in the stream, you will have the hashtag included in your tweet. Check out Dave Olson's video below for more ideas about mobile listening.
2. Devote a team member to social.
If you have someone on your team who can concentrate specifically on social media during the event, that's great! This will allow you to stay focused on building relationships while keeping the conversation going online at the same time.
Of course, if you're a business of one or if everyone on you team already has things to do, multitasking is the way to go. I do it all the time, and it's been working out alright.
3. Occasionally share your whereabouts.
You may have pre-scheduled these updates already, but make sure that people know where you are. This is particularly important for trade shows where you have a booth, and large conferences where it's easy to get lost. You want people to be able to find you, don't you?
4. Do / Give / Have something worth talking about.
If you are one of the speakers, you will get a lot of attention by default. But if you're just attending, there are other ways to get people engaged. In Part One, I suggested that you have some prizes for a giveaway, but you can also just give people you merchandise.
The difference between awesome swag and lame one is that awesome swag is like a little gift that was crafted with love; it has a story to tell, and that story is not self-promotional. HootKits are a great example.
5. Don't over-tweet quotes.
Many people want to share great quotes they hear at conferences, but forget about the lack of context for the reader. Think about it. People who are at the event with you already know what the speaker said, so they don't need you repeating it.
@JohnDoe: “You content strategy should be like a stapler.” #SomeEvent
On the other hand, people who aren't at the event have a very hard time understanding what your 140 characters mean. And a lot of the time, they simply don't care.
There is a better way to share the knowledge you gain at the event. Take as many notes as you can, write a blog post after the event is over and cover everything at once. I'll get back to that in Part 3.
6. Take as many photos and videos as you can.
Take photos with people you meet. Conduct an interview with a speaker. Photograph other booths. Long story short, you want to generate as much content as possible,so you can share it later. Post some pictures on social media during the event, but keep most of them reserved for when you get back.
The content you generate during the event is your most powerful weapon after the event.
After The Event
I hope you had fun with this part. Tomorrow I'll share the third and the last part of this guide. It will cover everything you want to do once the event is over. And it's going to be epic!
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